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thebes

Anyone Ever Play Around With Turntable Mats?

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I've experimented very little with this aspect of vinyl.  Got an old Canadian audiophile mat but it's noisy in the winter. Tried homemade cork,  felt, and the stock rubber.  Even have one with silicone in it .

 

I've heard they have some now that are made of cowhide or something similar.  Curious about that.  The tricky part is all of these mats seem to vary with their width. So that beggars the question are the perceived differences simply minor variations in tracking force caused by the different widths, or something more.  Obviously no way to quantify this so the possibilities for magic pebble outcomes are almost endless.

 

After months of work exhaustion and living exhaustion, I finally am able to ****** a few moments for stereo fun, and this seemed like a place to tweak without getting carried away.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, ZEUS121996 said:

I heard pig foreskins were now the rage

 

Mark

I've been called that a time or two. Well, actually more than a time or two.

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I have experimented with tt mats. My experience was that they do make a difference on belt drive turntables. They stopped making a difference to my ears when I used a quality record clamp. 

Now using an idler drive Tt I find no difference with various mats or clamps. The slipping that is part of the belt drive experience is somewhat mitigated with various mats. But the best way to make a record sound better is with a quality idler drive! 

 

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5 hours ago, ZEUS121996 said:

I heard pig foreskins were now the rage

 

Mark

That is so yesterday.

 

I believe bat wings are in for this season. Has something to do with radar and frequencies and all that.

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2 minutes ago, tom b. 57 said:

That is so yesterday.

 

I believe bat wings are in for this season. Has something to do with radar and frequencies and all that.

Oops! I think I meant Sonar, or, hell I don't know what I'm talking about.

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They make good placemats Thebes, and they make a fancier table setting than Wall Street Journals.

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On 12/30/2016 at 10:59 PM, joshnich said:

I have experimented with tt mats. My experience was that they do make a difference on belt drive turntables. They stopped making a difference to my ears when I used a quality record clamp. 

Now using an idler drive Tt I find no difference with various mats or clamps. The slipping that is part of the belt drive experience is somewhat mitigated with various mats. But the best way to make a record sound better is with a quality idler drive! 

 

Very interesting. I've never really experienced slippage with a a belt drive tt unless the belt was worn. I have experienced slippage with felt mats, but my primary concerns are with static buildup on the mats, and resonance with metal platters, or ringing with glass platters.

 

A cow hide mat could be udderly fantastic, or just another pile of audiophile poop.  Hard to tell.

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On 12/30/2016 at 10:59 PM, joshnich said:

I have experimented with tt mats. My experience was that they do make a difference on belt drive turntables. They stopped making a difference to my ears when I used a quality record clamp. 

Now using an idler drive Tt I find no difference with various mats or clamps. The slipping that is part of the belt drive experience is somewhat mitigated with various mats. But the best way to make a record sound better is with a quality idler drive! 

 

The TT platter surface interface with the LP is partly a matter of engineering.  For example, Basis 'table platters are designed to be a superior matchup with the LP, especially with a Basis clamp.  That probably accounts for why you don't hear a difference with a quality clamp.  A mat is probably superfluous at best with top TT brands, and I myself wouldn't use one for that reason.

 

Slippage should cease to be an issue with a record clamp.

 

A mat layered on top of an LP could change the geometry of cartridge and cantilever alignment.  Basically, you might have to determine and perhaps re-do your cartridge alignment if you add a mat to your current setup. 

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17 hours ago, LarryC said:

The TT platter surface interface with the LP is partly a matter of engineering.  For example, Basis 'table platters are designed to be a superior matchup with the LP, especially with a Basis clamp.  That probably accounts for why you don't hear a difference with a quality clamp.  A mat is probably superfluous at best with top TT brands, and I myself wouldn't use one for that reason.

 

Slippage should cease to be an issue with a record clamp.

 

A mat layered on top of an LP could change the geometry of cartridge and cantilever alignment.  Basically, you might have to determine and perhaps re-do your cartridge alignment if you add a mat to your current setup. 

My point was that a record clamp was more effective than a record mat. In hindsight I would say slippage is probably the wrong descriptor. I think that the reason records sound better with a record clamp is that cartridge drag is minimized. With an idler drive, cartridge drag is eliminated so a record clamp is superfluous.

 

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I hated the felt mat on my Music Hall 5 SE it would forever be stuck to the record as I pulled it off. Never had a staic issue or if i did it wasnt audible. When I bought my Music Hall 7 it came with a deer skin mat. Have to say I love it and it looks great. Soundwise... not sure I hear a difference with the mats. I do use the supplied Music Hall record clamp as well. 

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I tried a few mats on my Philips 212. Especialy when I changed the cartridge and wanted to compensate a few milimeters in hight.

Played with special cork compund, leather...Anyway, the best to my ears is original rubber mat on my platter. All other mats negatively affected the sound, mostly blured it.

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Deer skin mats have so much static that you sit the record on it and you can hold it vertical and it will keep the record just from static. I can see how it will nicely clean the record when its put on it, and it should even make a handy record cleaning sponge cover instead of velvet like a few I have had are.

Cool.

Srinath.

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Good point Larry on the engineering. I am also suspicious that the different widths of 'rolling" mats could make minor differences in the whole cartridge alignment process.

 

 I was surprised to see so many comments on the clamping of the record instead of focusing on the mat.  I guess all the factors come into play when talking about record playback.  Fortunately I do have an excellent ADA clamp, a gift from a customer who was a former ADA rep.

 

However, if a clamp does indeed mitigate the need to play around with mats, the static issues still exists when winter dryness rolls around.  Since it sounds like the deer mats are static prone I guess Bambi's mother will live to see another day.

 

I've seen mats advertised as "anti-static" but they appear to be felt which is not a mat I like at all.

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Marty, does your static occur on belt-driven 'tables?  Dipping the belt in talcum powder (and shaking it off) may take care of that problem.  It sure does for me.  My belt propels an acrylic platter, and that may be the cause in my case.

 

I have a Vicks humidifier running most of the time in dry weather, and try to keep things at 35% RH at a minimum.

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My current main table Larry is a long-ago TOTL (top-of-the-line) Sony DD. I do have a whole house humidifier,  a zerostat, and a Stopstatic "Ionizing Wiper" which is a cloth you pass above the record.  Still when I go to pull it off at the end of play,  it resists me with statically cling.  Oh what's a housewife to do!

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Marty, I think I once had the same problem with a vintage Micro-Seiki 'table, may it rest in peace.  

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